Detroit Lions: Grading Each Pick Of The 2015 NFL Draft
1 (28): Laken Tomlinson - OG, Duke
There was no doubt that the Lions had a big hole at guard, and they did a good job grabbing Laken Tomlinson while adding a potential starting center and extra picks. Not only will Tomlinson be able to start right away, but he will be a big upgrade over previous incumbent Rob Sims. This decision fixes up a line that was too often a liabiilty last year.
2 (22): Ameer Abdullah - RB, Nebraska
With Joique Bell struggling as the lead back, it became apparent that the Lions were going to get one early in the draft. In a strong running back class, Ameer Abdullah is one of the smarter and more explosive runners. His style of play goes well with Bell, who will still likely get the call on short-yardage and goal-line situations. Abdullah does not look fit to carry the rock 20 to 30 times a game, but he should be able to make the most of his carries and can work as a receiving back too.
3 (16): Alex Carter - CB, Stanford
Alex Carter's coverage skills are lacking for a cornerback, but he can make for a solid safety. However, Glover Quin still has a few years left on his contract and is playing well for a 29-year-old, so they may see Carter as a potential corner. Darius Slay is a quality starter on the perimeter, while Rasheen Mathis still has what it takes to play both inside and outside, but they have little beyond that. Carter is unlikely to play inside, but it looks like they will give him a shot to compete for the spot opposite Slay. Spending a third and a fifth on a player that will struggle to find a position is a very questionable decision.
Grade: C- for Corner, C+ for Safety
4 (14): Gabe Wright - DT, Auburn
I would have liked Grady Jarrett at this point, or earlier, but Gabe Wright works too. He has a lot of athleticism for a man his size. He is a little raw and inconsistent though, so he will have to work in a rotation with guys like Tyrunn Walker early on. He has a high ceiling for a fourth-round pick, so this grades out positively.
5 (32): Michael Burton - FB, Rutgers
Michael Burton is small and may not be physical enough to be a consistent lead blocker, but he has decent running and receiving skills for the position. He will likely be moved around and be utilized on special teams. This is a guy they could have gotten a little later, perhaps after the draft, but sometimes you just have to secure your guys.
6 (24): Quandre Diggs - CB, Texas
The only reason that Quandre Diggs fell is because he is 5-foot-9 and he does not have the speed some teams believe is necessary inside. However, Diggs is one of the more instinctive and sticky cover corners. He has the ability to play in nickel packages for them, allowing Rashean Mathis to play outside opposite Darius Slay. He is limited, but he can still be a starter in this league and is most definitely well worth a sixth-round pick.
7 (23): Corey Robinson - OT, South Carolina
Corey Robinson is a monster of a man, at 6-foot-7 and 324 pounds, and is a powerful blocker. He is not as quick as one would like on the outside, so he may see time as guard. In the seventh round, this is a solid depth pick.